Growing Up Asian In Australia - Summary
Edited by Alice Pung
Amy Choi - The Relative Advantages of Learning My Language
Amy Choi lived with her grandfather (mum’s dad) but was never kind to him. He wrote poetry but she only listened to once as she had let her Chinese go so could not understand much of what he was saying. After a while her grandfather started losing his memory and could not find his way home from the city. One holiday, Amy followed her grandfather and guided him when he needed it. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor and three months later, passed away. Because of her grandfathers death, Amy improved her Chinese and was complimented at a restaurant by the waiter.
Ken Chau - The Early Settlers
Great-grandfather had arrived at Wahgunyah in 1897 to grow corn cabbage tobacco. He called the first terrorist a fucking bastard in his own language and referred to the early settlers as foreign devils and potential terrorists.
Ken Chau - The Terrorists
Paranoid about terrorists being every where. “When smothered by their attacks”. He wants to die and kill them for making him feel this way. States being born in Australia and being an Australian are not the same.
Christopher Cyrill - The Ganges and Its Tributaries
Christopher’s mother believes the spirit of Visakha takes care of every empty home until family of his choice has entered it. She bought their home because of the three nails shaped like three crucifixes (a representation of a cross with a figure of Jesus Christ on it) the spirit had left. His had decorated their house with maps of India all around. Mother had arranged the cupboard, and replaced statues of Mary and Joseph on Christopher’s bedside table.
Hop Dac - Pigs From Home
Hop Dac thinks pigs are repulsive and explains his hate for pigs are because of their greediness. He has many animals and grows herbs and vegetables. Hop tells a story of the time they didn’t feed the pigs or animals for a whole day and after a day of hunger, when trying to feed the chicken. Out of hunger and greediness the pig bites off the chickens behind. He also tells the story about the time he helped his father kill a pig for feast. After a while they stopped keeping pigs and moved to Footscray where he ate noodles all the time.
Lily Chan - Take Me Away, Please
Lily had to spend every after school at 4pm at her parents store called Peter Chan’s Chinese Take-Away to help/work. Her chores consisted of turning lights on and the “open” sign. After opening the shop she did her homework and if homework was done she watched t.v. Her favourite t.v shows were Get Smart, The Goodies and she liked the theme song from Come and Get It. At exactly 5:30pm the body builder from across the road rang and placed the same order he always placed. Their most popular dishes were special fried rice, chicken with almonds, and sweet and sour pork. Every three months on of their customers would order 20 dishes of food from their shop which took a lot of time cooking. Today was that day. The only other Chinese family in the town were one of their best friends. They were also their biggest competitors as they owned the Hong Kong Restaurant down the road from them.
Aditi Gouvernel - Wei-Li and Me
Barry West was a bully from Aditi’s school who always degraded her saying, after playing tiggy, he had to wash his shirt because Aditi is Indian and he has Indian shit on him. She moved from Qutab Miner which she called her “playground” to Canberra. The only thing in common with these two places was that they are both national capitals. Mount Rogers was a place on the hill near there home which her father and herself called “theirs”. Aditi and her family became official Australian Citizens in 1982. Her parents first met Australia at work, but she met it in the playground. Kids at school always bullied her...